HONEY BUNCH MEETS THE OCEAN
ALTHOUGH Honey Bunch had her first real view of the ocean after supper that night, it must be confessed that she did not pay much attention to the wonderful sea. The long drive in the open airhad made her dreadfully sleepy, and though, when Julie asked her if she wanted to go out on the beach “just a minute,” she said “yes,” she was too tired out to do more than stare sleepily at the beautiful, quiet breakers slipping in so evenly and breaking on the sand in such orderly fashion.
“Isn’t it a nice noise?” said Honey Bunch, her head nodding on Daddy’s shoulder as he carried her back to the cottage.
All night long the noise of the ocean went on, as the waves came in, ran up the beach and ran back again, never tiring and never stopping. Honey Bunch did not hear the waves, for she was asleep before she was in bed— indeed she went to sleep while her mother was undressing her.
In the morning—oh, that was quite different. She woke up as soon as Daddy and she was dressed and downstairs before he was. Only a second or two before, though, and then he came out and Julie came tumbling down the stairs. They ran a race to the beach, which was just around the corner. Julie’s house was the last on the block and there was nothing between it and the ocean except the Sand.
“Oh! Oh! My!” said Honey Bunch, when she saw the ocean that morning.
She pressed a little closer to Daddy and stood quite still. Blue and sparkling in the sun, miles and miles of beautiful dancing water lay spread before her. The waves were still running up on the sand and back again, but as each one ran back it left a ring, a wet ring, and on the edge sparkled hundreds of bubbles with rainbows flashing through them. As Honey Bunch stood staring, funny little long-legged birds ran along the wet sand, keeping just out of reach of the water.
“They’re sand snipes,” said Julie, who of course had seen the ocean all her life.
Honey Bunch took a long breath.
“I like it!” she said. “Daddy, I
like it!” He bent down and kissed her.
“Why, dear, of course you do!” he answered. “With Julie and an ocean and a beach, think what a beautiful time you are going to have!” They walked a little way along the beach after that, not very far, for Julie said breakfast would soon be ready, and though Honey Bunch did not find a starfish, she found half a dozen pretty shells which she decided would be nice to take to Ida.
“I’ll get you a box to put them in and you can save them all the time you’re here,” said Julie. “And now I think we ought to turn around and go back, ’cause Pauline doesn’t like to have to keep the coffee hot.”
Pauline was Aunt Norma’s helper, and Honey Bunch had seen her when they first went into the house. Honey Bunch was anxious to get back—she wasn’t interested in the coffee for, of course, neither she nor Julie were allowed to drink coffee—but she had suddenly remembered the turtle!
“Daddy,” she whispered, as they went up the steps to the porch where her mother and aunt were waiting for them, “I left Julie’s turtle in the box!”
“It’s all right, dear. I took it out before I ran the car to the garage,” Daddy Morton whispered back. “You were so sleepy last night you forgot him, but Mother and I found him when we were carrying in the other packages. You’ll find the box on the back porch.” So Honey Bunch ran around to the back porch, and, sure enough, there was the turtle box on a little shelf.
“Good morning,” said Pauline, coming to the door when she heard steps on the porch. “How do you feel after your trip?”
Honey Bunch smiled shyly.
“I’m very well, thank you,” she answered. “I came to get the turtle I brought Julie.” “She’ll love to have a turtle,” said Pauline.
“I expect she’ll build it a house to live in—Julie is a great one to build things. Are you ready for breakfast? Because I’m going to put it on the table now.”
Honey Bunch said she was ready, and she ran back to the front porch and put the box in Julie’s hands.
“A turtle!” squealed Julie, when she looked inside. “A cunning little turtle! I’m going to call him Barham—you brought him from there, didn’t you, Honey Bunch?”
“No-o. I found him under a tree where we ate our lunch,” answered Honey Bunch. “But I think Barham is a nice name for a turtle.”
“So do I,” agreed Julie’s mother. “If I were you, Julie, I’d name him that, anyway. Honey Bunch lives there and she gave you the turtle, and that is a good reason to name him that.”
Pauline came to tell them that breakfast was ready just then, but Julie told them all that the turtle was to be called “Barham,” and he was from that moment. Julie had him several years—till she was quite a big girl—and then one summer he wandered off and did not come back. She wrote Honey Bunch that every one said he must have gone to the woods to live, and Honey Bunch thought that quite likely. She had found him in the country, and she supposed he had tried to go back to his home, perhaps to visit his brother and sister turtles. This happened long after she gave him to Julie, however, and Barham was a great pet with the Somersets for many summers.
“Now we want to go and play on the beach,” said Julie, as soon as breakfast was over. “I have to show Honey Bunch how to play in the sand.”
Mrs. Somerset laughed and said she thought Honey Bunch would not need much teaching.
Honey Bunch ran upstairs to get the toys Uncle Peter had given her; and it was lucky that she had the beach and the sand to look forward to, for when she came down she found her daddy ready to go back to Barham.
“Oh, Daddy!” Honey Bunch climbed into his lap and looked ready to cry. “I thought you’d stay a little—just a little, Daddy.” “Can’t, sweetheart!” he said, with a kiss. “Remember, I’m coming for you when it is time for you to come home. And Uncle Peter and I hope to find you as brown as a berry.” Honey Bunch asked doubtfully what kind of a berry was brown, but Julie’s mother asked another question just then and she had to wait for an answer.
“Where are you going to stay, David?” asked Julie’s mother. “I thought you and Edith closed the house?”
“I’ll stay at the club, and be quite comfortable,” replied Mr. Morton. “What was it you asked me, Honey Bunch?”
“What kind of a berry is brown?” repeated Honey Bunch.
“Oh, the nice ones that don’t get eaten, but stay in the sun,” declared her daddy. “You run along to the beach with Julie, dear, and have a lovely morning.”
Honey Bunch took the chain of buckets and Julie carried the little tin car and they were half way down the block when Honey Bunch remembered something she wanted to ask her daddy. She ran back and stopped him just as he was getting into the car.
“Daddy!” she called. “Daddy, will you see Jane and Sarah?”
“Jane and Sarah?” questioned Daddy Morton, puzzled. “Who are they, dear?”
He had forgotten the names of the two little girls, you see.
“Why, Daddy, don’t you remember?” asked Honey Bunch. “They sold us wild flowers yesterday. I thought perhaps you’d see them on your way home.”
“I hardly think it likely,” said Mr. Morton. “I don’t believe Jane and Sarah will be out so early in the morning to sell flowers; they probably pick them in the morning and try to sell them in the afternoon.”
“But you will buy the flowers, if you see them, won’t you, Daddy?” Honey Bunch urged. “Please, Daddy, buy the flowers.”
Mr. Morton promised he would buy wild flowers from Jane and Sarah, if he passed them on the road and they had flowers to sell, and then Honey Bunch ran back to Julie, who had waited for her.
“Some day,” said Honey Bunch, after she had told Julie why she had wanted to speak to her daddy again and Julie had heard all about Jane and Sarah, “I’m going to have a flower garden all my own.”
“Are you going to sell flowers, too?” asked Julie.
“No, I won’t sell ’em,” replied Honey Bunch seriously. “But I’ll give my flowers to Jane and Sarah and they can sell them. I don’t think I’d like to stop people I don’t know and ask them to buy flowers.”
Julie said “oh!” to this and then she hurried Honey Bunch along toward the beach.
They were going “the long way,” as Julie had explained. They could have walked out of the front yard and found the sand almost at their feet. But Julie wanted to show Honey Bunch how pretty Glenhaven was, and so she was taking her through some of the streets first.
Honey Bunch thought the cottages were very pretty. Most of the people in them, Julie said, lived somewhere else during the winter. They came to Glenhaven only for the warm weather.
“We really live in Glenhaven,” said Julie proudly. “I like the winter just as much as the summer; well, almost as much,” she added. “Of course we can go bathing in the summer and there isn’t any school then. But in winter Daddy is at home.”
When they came to the beach they found it dotted with people. There were gay-colored umbrellas stuck in the sand and under the umbrellas were ladies sitting. Some were knitting and some were sewing while others were holding babies on their laps. Little boys and girls ran about and a little black and white dog was chasing after a ball.
“Julie,” said Honey Bunch, after she had taken a few steps, “there’s sand in my shoes.”
“That’s all right,” answered Julie. “Sand always gets in your shoes. Mother won’t let me go barefoot unless I’m going wading, and we can’t go wading unless she or Aunt Edith comes with us. So you’ll just have to stand it.”
“I could take my shoes off and shake them out,” said Honey Bunch.
She meant she could shake the sand out of her shoes.
“You can’t shake them every minute,” argued Julie. “When we get to where we want to play, then you can take off your shoes. You’ll get used to the sand. Come on.”
So Honey Bunch followed Julie and every step she took more sand got into her shoes. Julie was most particular about where they played, and she would not stop till she came to the right place—it was a very nice place, Honey Bunch admitted. There was a strip of hard, wet sand between them and the ocean and plenty of dry sand to play in, and the boardwalk curved near so that they could go and sit under it for shade if the sun was too hot.”
“Hello, Julie!” called a little girl from the
boardwalk. “Is that your cousin? How does she like the ocean?”
Honey Bunch sat down and unbuckled her sandals. She poured out a little heap of sand from each shoe.
“There’s a lot of seashore in my shoes,” she said earnestly.